Young Upstarts

All about entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, ideas, innovation, and small business.

Pathways To Lateral Thought

The best business ideas are the “out there” ones. If we all think along the same lines, then, by definition, we aren’t going to out-perform the rest. This kind of performance may be acceptable in making a living; there’s nothing wrong with a job done well. But, if you’re really looking to do something different in any sphere of life, including business, then you’re going to have to be a little outré.

But have you ever noticed how difficult it is to come up with a lateral and creative thought when you’re put on the spot? You try to force your brain to come up with the kind of “out-there” idea you know it’s capable of but it just won’t come. Well, your brain is giving you a big clue here; it’s because you’re trying to concentrate on the task at hand in a fully conscious and focussed way. This is a mistake. The best ideas come to us at the strangest moments; just as we’re falling asleep, on waking, in our dreams, or while we’re busy doing something completely unrelated. That’s because your subconscious has been working on it while your conscious thoughts were busy elsewhere.

So how do you nurture that laterality?

Find ways of tapping into your subconscious thoughts. Some of these can be fascinating. For example, clairvoyant readings or talking to a psychic can be a unique way of revealing to yourself your innermost thoughts – with the help of a perceptive individual. Whether you believe or don’t believe there’s a magical unknown element to these processes, the people you’re talking to are, unequivocally, trained professionals who will see in you things you aren’t aware of yourself. The same can happen via hypnotherapy or even self-hypnosis or meditation. They’re all ways of shutting down your conscious thought processes and letting the sub-conscious do the “talking” for a while. And this is the spring source of our greatest creativity because it is uncluttered by the mundane practicalities of your existence.

In other words, this is “spiritual” or soulful. Whether you have any strong faith or are a complete atheist and don’t believe in anything that isn’t explained by science, you still have a spiritual side as a human being.

Some people find listening to music stirs the soul, whilst others will find it via singing or through a long relaxing massage or a yoga class, meditation or maybe even a glass of wine. It’s really all about finding whatever does it best for you as long as it’s healthy. For many people, making notes of their dreams or thoughts during the night or on immediate waking can be very useful.

There are lots more conventional ways to improve your lateral thinking, all of which have their place in this process. But these don’t help you prepare your mind to be truly open to creativity in the first place – which is what we’re really looking for here.

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Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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